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Author Topic: Ram water pumps  (Read 3220 times)

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Offline pabst79

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Ram water pumps
« on: February 22, 2016, 07:54:33 pm »
 I'm trying to find out what size pump I need to build, along with size of discharge piping etc. I read through many old posts, but most of the links are no longer valid. I'm curious if any forum members have first hand knowledge of a good working design? I'm trying to keep a pond full that is about 450' away from a creek by my house. The difference in elevation is about 8', but I could dig in the discharge line to lower the amount of head. The web has tons of schematics, but they vary greatly and I would prefer to build this once. :)
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Offline landscraper

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 08:00:28 pm »
Go to the website for Rife brand ram pumps, the way I remember that had all the design and sizing info on the website.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 09:09:43 pm »
Thanks, some good drawings on there. My problem is that the creek is the lowest point on the property, so the pump would be level with no fall. I remember seeing a diagram of a pump that sat right in the water, I believe in a fur fish n game a few years back. I suppose I could call one of the engineers at Rife, but I don't know how much I want to spend without knowing if it will work first. I was thinking of making a cheap one out of pvc, if it works then spend some $ on a big proven pump.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 10:06:56 pm »
You will likely have to dam up the creek enough to give you 3 ft or so of head. The university of NC web site has a bunch of info on ram pumps.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2016, 04:38:44 am »
You will need about a 20 foot run of pipe to give you the ram efect. I'm a collector of old rams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Offline landscraper

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2016, 07:58:37 am »
I remember seeing a diagram of a pump that sat right in the water,

Are you talking about a sling pump instead of a ram maybe?

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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2016, 08:58:10 am »
Sling Pump, Maybe? Its been 6 or 7 years and of course I saved the article, but can't find it. :D

Kbeitz, awesome collection!

I'm wondering if I bury a plastic or steel tank with ballast to get my 4 or 5 feet of fall, that should work eh? If I dam up the creek, the DNR might not be amused. They just released Elk a few miles from me, and the DNR is on heavy patrol, flying etc.
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #7 on: February 23, 2016, 05:01:01 pm »
You have to have head. Your Barrel will just fill up then your head is gone. If you have some flow, you can use more pipe, this acts like having more head, as long as there is enough flow to close the clacker.
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2016, 05:03:03 pm »
It's hard to convey typing on the stoopid phone. Your situation is tough, but might be workable.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2016, 05:12:49 pm »
 My idea with the buried tank would be to keep the pump there, the tank would be dry, but I have no idea if I could get enough drop, I was looking at drawings from the UNC website that showed putting a inlet pipe in the creek and then the pump assembly about 6' feet lower in a ditch, then piping about 100' to a irrigation trough. The tank I would bury would have sides that stick above grade, and a top to keep rain out, in theory it would be just like the drawing with the pump in a ditch, the tank being my ditch. Or am I misunderstanding the drawing and or principle of the ram pump?  :-\
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2016, 05:26:11 pm »
Okay, I see in another diagram that there is a waste/dump valve on the pump, which means I would have to keep a solar or deep cycle 12v sump going to keep the tank from flooding, I could spend a bunch of time and money and still be ahead of what a windmill setup would cost. I got a quote from Aeromotor and it seemed insane for keeping a pond full.
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2016, 06:36:16 pm »
You could just pump the water to the pond if you were going to try and keep that tank empty. The way a ram works is the water flows through it until the velocity builds enough to close the clacker, then it sends a shot through the check valve to whatever you are pumping to. The more head you have, either true vertical, or from the length of the infeed tube, and you can actually coil up a bunch of plastic pipe to lengthen the head, the more force on the output pipe when the clacker closes. This is due to the length of the column of water in the infeed pipe times the speed of the column.
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Offline landscraper

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2016, 06:45:49 pm »
Extending the drive pipe is probably a better option than digging the pump down to create head. Put a strainer on the drive pipe inlet and keep it clean.

A sling pump works by laying in the creek water and being rotated by the flow of the creek.  You need some depth and flow for it to work, but not gravity head in the same sense as the ram pump.  There's plenty of videos on utube.
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2016, 06:48:23 pm »
Expect to be dumping about 10X the water you pump out the drain, so for every gallon of water you pump up the hill, another 10gal will spill out the overflow and need to drain away.

Now if your stream has a bit of drop over it's course though your property, you can build a small weir (one the doesn't block off fish movement etc) and run a pipe down the stream bed until you have gained enough head to lift it up to the pumps position on the stream bank. The waste water then just runs back into the stream.

But you need "some" head for the ram to work. But what it allows is for a 10ft drop in a stream to pump water 100ft up to where it's needed, basically for "free". The energy needed to pump the water is created by the larger volume  dropping the smaller distance to the pump. Each time the valve slams shut you get a "water hammer" effect, and can use that to pump water to a considerable height.

The water flow may not be high, but it's constant, 24 hours a day.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2016, 07:19:24 pm »
 Thanks for all the info, I will scrap the tank idea. Ianab, I'm going to get my transit/laser out this weekend, I believe there might me about 3 or 4' of fall from the property line coming towards the house in regards to the creek. There is a small dam/waterfall with about 4' drop, but its 30' off my property and on State forest land, so that's out. Somehow I gotta make it work, the pond was full for about 2 wet years, the last 6 its been more of a puddle than a pond, it just moves with the water table, and I'm in sand country so a shopping cart might hold water better.  fiddle-smiley
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #15 on: February 23, 2016, 07:37:48 pm »
You are doing better than the town of Sheffield. From where it enters town, to where it leaves, the Housatonic river drops 13.5 feet in about 5.5 miles, or about thirteen miles as the river flows.
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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2016, 03:42:02 am »
You could make a small water wheel and use it to drive an old piston pump.
They will work even running real slow.


 

 
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2016, 04:23:08 am »
True, an undershot water wheel can run with only a couple of feet of head.
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2016, 09:45:06 am »
This is my over shot wheel. I only have about 3-4 feet of head. But with a 1-1/2" pipe I cant stop it from turning with my hands.

 

 
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2016, 08:25:26 pm »
 I will try and get some pics of the creek and and creek bottom posted soon, I know pics may better show my obstacles, and you experienced folks might have some ideas. 60 years ago they tried growing cranberries on my 80 acres, the ditches surrounding the property were water filled, from the creek, which is 8'-20' lower in elevation, without the use of electric or gas pumps, so I know somehow I can get the DanG pond wet!
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2016, 07:41:40 pm »
Dono if it would work in your case, I've had success with very small 30 watt or so  consumer solar setups charging a couple of decent AGM batteries powering a 12v ag sprayer or rv pump.  They pull water up from about 16' giving almost civic pressure at the wellhead, driving water 50' or so up if I'm remembering it right.  Snow on the panels and frozen batteries seem to be the limiting factor. 

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #21 on: February 28, 2016, 04:18:17 pm »
I finally went and took some pictures today. 1st one is where the creek leaves my property, on the upper left of pic a ways up the road is my mailbox, the pond is at this same elevation roughly.
 

 

 This pic is of part of the pond, at the deepest its about 11ft deep from grade. So its got about 3.5 feet of water in it now at best.
 

 


This pic is about the deepest part of creek, its a hole about 28" deep right now, most of the creek is only 10" deep, but it always has good flow even during drought years.

 

 

 

 

Any ideas of a sling or any other type of pump would be appreciated! Its about 700ft from the deep hole on the creek to the pond. I see no way of making a ram pump work, even if I did make a small dam, at best I might get 18" of fall, and even then the pump would sit in such a low spot that during 1 good rain everything would be swamped.
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Offline AfraidChocker

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2016, 05:02:08 pm »
Without "boots on the ground" it is hard to tell from pictures, but if I may be as so bold, and to try and not offend you, I wonder if maybe the bigger part of the problem is not in trying to get water to the pond, but rather to try and keep the pond from losing water in the first place. It almost looks like it was dug from gravel or sand. If that is the case, would it be feasible to line with plastic, rubber or special soil made just for livestock ponds (I forget what it is called)?

My only other idea is in using a water wheel pump. Very simple in construction and since you are not creating a dam, I would think it would be easier to get permits for (if needed at all). You would just have to scale it up to "lift" your water from the stream to the pond. I thought you said somewhere that you need a "lift" of 11 feet; if that is the case, since the discharge is at the hub, it would require a 22 foot wheel. Pretty high, but doable.

Just generating an alternative idea, that is all.

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Offline Kbeitz

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2016, 05:27:44 pm »
18" is plenty of fall for a ram.  You just need a longer run when the ram valve slams shut with 20 - 30 feet of pipe behind it you get a big water hammer. That's what does the work.
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Offline pabst79

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2016, 07:59:40 pm »
 Before I dug the bigger pond, I dug a small one to test it for 2 years, the soil is pure sand with a little loam in the swampy spots. I tried a liner and a bent clay neither worked, with a small leak in the lap all the water leaked down to the water table. On wet years the pond stayed pretty full, then we had drought and the DNR has been messing with the lake level, which is just 1/2 mile north of me, both have dropped the water table a bit. During the test phase I also tried keeping the pond full with a hose on a timer 10 hrs a day, it worked fine but I'm not paying that much for electric or willing to wear out my pump prematurely, its a 1 1/4hp pump and even at cost for me to replace its not worth it.

 The other thing I wonder is if I put the intake line on the highest point of creek and ran it about 150ft there is about 16" of drop, and then I wouldn't have to stick the pump down in a mucky hole. The water wheel rig is neat but I don't have that much room without some major brush clearing, which could be done, I think brush floating down during heavy rains may mess it up though.
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2017, 03:28:34 pm »
I know it's thread is over a year old but I have a question and a sugestion. From the level you pond is does your land climb in elevation? If it does you may be able to dig a well that will gravity feed your pond. The water table will follow the contour of the land so this may work.

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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #26 on: July 28, 2017, 02:29:57 am »
Just out of curiosity, any one heard of a wind driven centrifugal pump?
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Re: Ram water pumps
« Reply #27 on: August 10, 2017, 08:58:18 pm »
I found a guy on you tube named Engineer 775 he also has a prepper web site . He seems to have interesting ideas on pumping water.
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